Thursday, June 21, 2012

I don't want thieves in my department - Sexwale

HUMAN Settlements Minister Tokyo Sexwale yesterday lashed out at government officials who were "failing to deliver quality and dignified" houses .

"This is one of the beautiful projects done with your money. Your taxes should be utilised properly," he said.

"I don't want thieves in my department. Parliament gives us money and that money goes right to the provinces, where it should be properly utilised. My job is to follow where that money went and see if it had been properly utilised."

Sexwale said he was against the building of poor quality houses.

"We don't want houses that are incomplete, houses that fall six months after completion. We are building dignified houses that people should be proud to own," he said.

Sexwale said they had arrested businesspeople and lawyers who had defrauded the department by failing to complete their projects.

Sexwale was speaking during the official handover of 228 housing units in Masimong in Welkom. He was accompanied by businessman and Harmony Mines chairman Patrice Motsepe.

Harmony Mines has contributed R150-million, which is half of the amount spent on the project, and also provided the land on which the houses are built.

About 233 units will be completed later as part of Phase 2 of the project.

The rental units were built after the mine was closed and are meant to accommodate people working in and around Welkom.

Rent will vary from R500 to R1200 a month.

The units comprise bachelor units, double and three-bedroom units. Each unit is equipped with a stove, cupboards and a washing machine.

Motsepe, who was accompanied by his wife Precious, said he was proud of the partnership with the government.

"Our people hope that the government will change their lives. This initiative is among those that improve their lives. There is a duty for all of us businesspeople, the tripartite alliance and government to improve our people's lives," Motsepe said.

He urged other businesspeople to work with the government in changing lives in the country.

Cooperative governance and traditional affairs MEC Olly Mlamleli said the rental units had brought dignity to the people of the Free State.

"People here need housing and nothing else. We are changing people's lives from hostel to dignified housing units," she said.

Sexwale lauds Sowetan for housing exposés
MINISTER of Human Settlements Tokyo Sexwale yesterday praised Sowetan for its reports on poorly built RDP houses and the sanitation crisis.

Sexwale was speaking to Sowetan in Welkom during the handing over of rental units in the area.

"Well done on your exposés about the poorly built houses. I follow Sowetan's stories about the poorly built houses and poor sanitation. The newspaper's articles have resulted in the formation of a task team led by Winnie Madikizela-Mandela," he said.

Sexwale said the task team was investigating incomplete houses and the sanitation crisis in the country.

"You must continue telling us where we are not doing (the right thing) as government. We are going to fix those unfinished houses. We want skilled contractors that have money so that we can retrieve our money if they fail to complete their projects.

"One wonders why fly-by-night contractors are given jobs to build houses. They abandon their projects . such people must be blacklisted from doing business with government," he said.

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